Southern African Submitted Surnames

Southern African names include those from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. See also about African names.
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Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
ANOTIDAISHEShona
Anotidaishe means "the Lord loves us".
ASANTEShona
Meaning unknown.
BEKKERAfrikaans
bekker is a regional form of Dutch bakker which means Baker
BUYSAfrikaans (Modern)
South Africa, Pretoria
CHAMAPIWAShona
Chamapiwa means "that which you have been given". It is a call to appreciate that which you have from God
CHENAIShona
Chenai means "Be clean, be hygienic or come out clean"
CHIKOMBOREROShona
CHIKOMBORERO means "a blessing".
CHIROTOShona
Meaning unknown.
CHIWESHEShona
Meaning unknown.
CILLIËRSAfrikaans
Brought to South Africa by settlers of French decent some time in the past 300 years. Sometimes also a given name for boys.
DAMBUDZOShona
Dambudzo means "that which causes suffering or trouble". #The Zimbabwean writer, Dambudzo Marechera is a famous bearer of this name".
DANGAREMBGAShona
Meaning unknown.
DE BEERAfrikaans
De Beer is a Dutch and Afrikaans surname, meaning "the bear"
DE BRUYNAfrikaans
"Bruyn" is an archaic spelling of "bruin", meaning "brown"
DE KOCKAfrikaans
Means "The Cook"
DUBENdebele, Zulu
It means Zebra. It is usually a surname instead of a person's name used by Zimbabwean Ndebele people and South African Zulu people.... [more]
DUDZAIShona
Dudzai means "Speak it out, confess it".
DU PLESSISAfrikaans, French Creole, French (Cajun), French (Huguenot)
French topographic name for someone who lived by a quickset fence, Old French pleis (from Latin plexum past participle of plectere ‘plait’, ‘weave’), with fused preposition and definite article du ‘from the’... [more]
ENGELBRECHTAfrikaans
The name Engelbrecht has multiple translations, including "Angle Glorious" and "Bright Angel".
FARAIShona
Farai means "Rejoice, be happy".
FOURIEAfrikaans
Originates from French Huguenot settlers
GWINYAIShona
Gwinyai means "be strong".
HATENDIShona
Meaning unknown.
ISHEANESUShona
Isheanesu means "The Lord is with us".
JEYIShona
Porcupine. Wamambo. Strong, Courageous, Joyful and loving.
KHUMALOZulu, Ndebele, South African
Zulu and Ndebele clan name meaning "descendant of the fish tribe".
KYAGUMBOShona
Meaning unknown.
LOUWAfrikaans
Louw is a surname that has pre 7th century Germanic origins. It is a Dutch/Flemish variant on the word Lowe, meaning Lion.
MAHARAJSouth African, Indian, Trinidadian Creole, Fijian
Means "great king, great ruler", from Sanskrit महा (mahā) meaning "great, large, big" combined with राज (rāja) meaning "king, sovereign". It is also found among Indian communities abroad.
MAJANGEShona
Meaning unknown.
MATHEMAShona
Meaning unknown.
MAWEREShona
Meaning unknown.
MBANGWAShona
Meaning unknown.
MOMBESHORAShona
Meaning unknown.
MOPANTOKOBOGOZulu
From Zulu meaning "big man".
MOYOShona
Meaning unknown.
MUDZURIShona
Meaning unknown.
MUFAROShona
Mufaro means "Joy, happiness". It is a name of rejoicing
MUSHOHWEShona
Meaning unknown.
MUZOREWAShona
Meaning unknown.
MWARUWARIShona
Meaning unknown.
NAIDOOSouth African, Southern African
In 2014, this was the most common surname in South Africa.
NENGOMASHAShona
Meaning unknown.
ONAIShona
Onai means "See, observe". #It is a name that calls the hearer to see or observe that which happened".
ONGAIShona
It is a form of the Shona name Vongai.
OOSTHUIZENSouth African
Came from a village in the Dutch province of North Holland.
RAJKOOMARMauritian Creole, South African
Variant of Rajkumar used by Mauritian and South African Indians.
RAMPERSADTrinidadian Creole, South African, Mauritian Creole
Trinidadian surname of Indian Hindu origin; from Sanskrit राम (rāma) meaning "pleasing, pleasant, charming" combined with प्रसाद (prasāda) meaning "clearness, brightness, purity".
RANGARIRAIShona
Rangarirai means "Remember, think over, consider".
RUFAROShona
It is a form of the Shona name Mufaro.
SNYMANAfrikaans
Afrikaans version of the German surname Schneider, which is German for tailor.
TAFARAShona
Tafara means "We are happy or we rejoice". It is a name of rejoicing
TAWANDAShona
Tawanda means "We have increased or multiplied". #It is a name acknowledging the birth of a child as an increase to the family".
THERONSouth African, Occitan
South African surname of Occitan origin derived from any of the various locations named Théron or Thérond. The name itself is ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *tur- or Latin torus/thorus meaning "height, elevation"... [more]
TINETARIROShona
Tinetariro means "We have hope". Usually given to declare that we have our hope in God.
TONDERAIShona
Tonderai means "Remember". This name is given as a call to remember a particular event or to remember one's origins.
VAN DEN BERGDutch, Afrikaans, Flemish
Meaning "from the mountain".
VAN DER MERWEDutch, South African
While the name is currently very common in South Africa, it originates in Holland, literally meaning "From the Merwe". The first van der Merwes hail from the Merwede river. The name went to South Africa with the Dutch settlers in 1652.
VAN NIEKERKAfrikaans, Southern African
Topographic name for any of the various locations named Nieuwerkerk in The Netherlands or Nieuwerkerken in Belgium. The name itself means "of the new church" from Dutch van meaning "of" combined with nieuw meaning "new" and kerk meaning "church".
VAN ROOYENAfrikaans
van Rooyen related to van Rooijen, is an Afrikaans and Dutch toponymic surname. May be rooted from the Rhine area of the Netherlands, possibly having meant "from Rhine" originally. Now a fairly common surname through out South Africa after being brought to Southern Africa by Dutch settlers over the past 300 years, often with variations on spelling but said in the same or a similar way.
VERWEYDutch, Afrikaans, South African
Contracted form of van der Weij meaning "from the meadow".
VIMBAIShona
Vimbai means "Have hope, trust". It is a call to have hope or to trust in
VONAIShona
It is a form of the Shona name Onai.
VONGAIShona
Vongai means "be thankful, or appreciative".
WADZANAIShona
Wadzanai means "Have fellowship, visit each other, be on good terms". The name may be given as a call to family to come together in fellowship, visiting and being on good terms
WEPENERSouth African, German
South African, German decent/history
WONAIShona
It is a form of the Shona name Onai.
WONGAIShona
It is a form of the Shona name Vongai
YEUKAIShona
Yeukai means "Remember". This name is given as a call to remember a particular event or to remember one's origins.
YOSTAmerican, Dutch, Afrikaans
Americanized spelling of Dutch surname Joost or German surname Jost
ZADZISAIShona
Zadzisai means "you must fulfil - a pledge or promise". The name is given as a reminder to fulfil a pledge or promise.
ZANAMWESouthern African
Zimbabwean Surname, originally from the Chivi area, shona speaking people of the Shumba(lion) totem originate from the Masvingo province, Mwenezi, Chitanga,Chikombedzi, Boli Chibwedziva. Some migrated to the Mashonaland East province Mhondoro area and assumed the Moyo(heart) totem
ZIVAIShona
Zivai means "you must know".
ZIVANAIShona
Zivanai means "You must know each other". #This name is a call to family and relatives to get to know each other by visiting and fellowship - usually so that they do not drift apart"
ZOROROShona
Zororo means "rest". #It may be given to mean that the parent has rested after the birth of this child". Zimbabwean politician Zororo Duri was a well known bearer of this name.
ZUVAShona
Zuva means "sun or day".
ZVAITIKAShona
Zvaitika means "It has happened". This name may be given as a celebration that something that was desired or awaited has finally happened.
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